Rune Larsen

Youth and Political Security: Social Unrest and (In)action in Urban Namibia

My PhD project seeks to phenomenologically explore how unemployed and politically engaged educated youths in their everyday lives navigate socially within the urban spaces of Windhoek, Namibia. The project will analyse how this affects the way social solidarity is transformed and negotiated through different everyday practices of urban politics. It will also be investigated how unemployed youth actors politically engage with the remaining Namibian society, and how they position themselves in relation to the Namibian state - through open political engagements, as well as more subtle ‘everyday forms of resistance’.

Here the project will also address how Namibian youths’ political engagements historically have transformed and how this, combined with other generational differences, affects today’s politically engaged youth actors’ life-worlds and their everyday interactions with family, friends and other members of the urban communities.

This project builds methodologically and theoretically on my previous experience of conducting ethnographic research amongst members of the political movement: Peoples’ United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO) in Swaziland.